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Mercy Corps Nigeria - ENGINE School To Work Advisor (National Vacancy)

Date Posted: 15/Oct/2013
Deadline: 24/Oct/2013
  • Specialization Admin / Finance
  • Industry
  • Experience 0 year(s)
  • Location Nigeria



ENGINE School to Work Advisor will provide technical assistance and oversight for the implementation of a proposed 3-year project to reduce financial and education barriers for marginalized Nigerian adolescent girls and young women. The goals of the ENGINE program are to increase girls’ and young women’s access to (1) financial education and life skills; (2) peer to peer networks and mentors; and (3) direct assets (materials and savings). ENGINE will integrate young women into value chains as well as conduct other market-driven employment opportunities. ENGINE will also work with girls in formal and informal education to increase their learning opportunities and outcomes to prepare them for future economic activities. ENGINE will be implemented in the Federal Capital Territory/Abuja as well as in Kano and Kaduna States and at least one additional state in the North. Mercy Corps will serve as a sub-awardee to a large international company and will collaborate with other stakeholders for the implementation of the ENGINE program, including the Nigerian Ministry of Education and Central Bank, as well as private sector actors.

GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY: The School to Work Advisor will lead the development and implementation of activities that transition girls in school or in informal education into economic activities. This includes into existing value chains of Nigerian-based companies and market driven employment and entrepreneurship activities. This requires being responsible for the overall management of all aspects of ENGINE school to work transition programming, including assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring, capacity building of Mercy Corps staff, reporting, and ongoing evaluation. These activities should be in line with government policies, as well as Mercy Corps’ corporate engagement and education strategies. This position will ensure ENGINE implementation is responsive to marginalized Nigerian girls, their communities, state and non-state secondary schools, vocational school, and other skill-based centers. This also includes implementation partners and aligned with Mercy Corps principles, values and strategic plan. This position will coordinate with other donor-funded programming to link marginalized girls with ENGINE activities.


Program Management

• Manage technical aspects of school to work programming for ENGINE including developing incentives for girls to enter into skills building, coordinating links to female mentors, identify existing peer to peer networks and identify opportunities for additional networks within schools, link girls with Islamic and/or community-based education, increasing economic assets through savings clubs and links to financial institutions.
• Ensure implementation of activities is on time, target and budget, using effective systems to reach desired impacts in order to assess the ENGINE effectiveness and impact and propose recommendations for improvements.
• Create and maintain systems ensuring effective and transparent use of financial resources for timely and informative reporting in line with donor and Mercy Corps policies and procedures.
• Implement and model Mercy Corps’ philosophy of social entrepreneurship and leverage Mercy Corps’ best practices.
• Identify and manage links with existing and planned donor interventions that target adolescent girls to identify girls on an on-going basis to participate in ENGINE activities.
• Identify Nigerian partners – NGOs as well as vocational training/skills centers – to participate in ENGINE activities. Identify opportunities to engage girls at scale (e.g. SMS training, etc).
• Advocate for the inclusion of marginalized girls and for girls to be active in non-traditional sectors at the household and community level and within Nigerian vocational and skills-based education.
• In collaboration with MEL Advisor, design and implement relevant surveys, need assessments, data and information collection for on-going monitoring.
• Review financial education and life skills materials and courses designed by the Ministry of Education, other donor interventions, national and local NGOs and vocational/skills centers. Recommendations how these materials and delivery of them can be improved to be more responsive to targeted adolescent girls.
• Maintains links and keep current on up-to-date best practices around innovative strategies of promoting girls school to work transition; disseminate technical information and assistance where necessary.
• Coordinate closely with other ENGINE personnel to ensure all objectives of the proposal and activities are met.
• Organizes site-visits to the projects sites and host visitors and consultants, as needed.


• Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with consortium partners, sub-grantees, donors, local governments and other stakeholders.
• Communicate effectively to ensure overall project targets and donor obligations are met.
• Participate in education coordination meetings as requested by the ENGINE Program Manager.

Team Management

• Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
• Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
• Recruit and supervise ENGINE relevant staff members, including setting program tasks to ensure the fulfillment of program goals.
• Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
• Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance & reach objectives.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: National staff and coordinating with implementing partners (approximate 1-3 people).


• MA/S or equivalent in education, management, social sciences, international development or other relevant field.
• A minimum of 7 years of experience including 3 years in a senior management or technical advisory role on large, education, gender- focused, skills building program. Experience in Middle or Northern Nigeria strongly
• Experience managing large-scale secondary education or school to work and especially targeting marginalized girls or young women programs required. Prefer expertise in at least one of the following areas: accelerated learning programs, Islamic and/or community-based education targeting community acceptance of girl’s education, increasing economic assets through savings clubs and links to financial institutions. Experience using SMS for training or messaging preferred.
• Strong understanding of DfID compliance issues.
• Strong management skills, with good understanding of relevant cross-cultural issues in high security environment. Experience managing a multi-organizational team (international and national partners) is a plus.
• Experience with private-sector led initiatives.
• Strong written and oral communication skills in English required, including report development, writing and editing. Hausa language skills preferred
• Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
• Demonstrated experience working with country-level ministries and government officials, Ministry of Education experience preferred.

The successful Advisor will combine exceptional management skills and technical skills with a focus on innovative interventions to engage adolescent girls in informal education and skills building linked with private sector entrepreneurship and employment opportunities in a culturally and religiously conservative environment. S/he will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative and complex programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential.

The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.

The School to Work Advisor will be based in Abuja and will manage activities in Middle and North Nigeria, with an estimated travel of up to 60% to program locations, where security may be particularly difficult at times. Security in Abuja is generally good, although petty crime is a problem. Housing, health care, water, electricity and consumer goods are all reasonably accessible and there are good international and domestic travel options from Abuja Airport.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

How to apply:

The application deadline for this position is Thursday, 24 October. Submissions should be sent to [email protected] with subject line “School to Work Advisor”. They should include a curriculum vitae and a cover letter highlighting suitability for the position.


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